A THREE-DAY training workshop is under way at SPC, Suva this week to promote the quality, safety standards and production of kava in Fiji.
Twenty representatives representing the kava value chain including farmers, buyers, extension officers, government and private sector are being taken through a new Fiji kava quality manual and safety standard to raise the quality and safety for Fijian kava that is consumed locally and export markets.
Fiji’s kava industry is on the rise. The industry is valued at around FJD$66 million (US$31 million) per year benefitting over 21,000 farms. Between 2010 and 2013, kava production in Fiji grew by just over 30 per cent. In that period, earnings doubled from F$3.8m to F$7m (US$1.8 million – US$3.3 million).
The workshop is a joint initiative involving Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture, Australian Government’s Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program (PHAMA) and the European Union’s SPC Agricultural Policy Program (APP).
According to APP Adviser, Vili Caniogo, “All this effort is about ensuring that Fiji kava secures its growth in an industry that benefits so many famers. A key part of this is about lifting standards and quality throughout from production through to sales”. He stated that partners will continue to work together to assist the Government in the months ahead with facilitating adoption and collective compliance by all involved.
The training this week will culminate in an official launch of the Fiji Kava Quality Manual and Standard by Prime Minister of Fiji, Voreqe Bainimarama. The launch will be attended by members of Government, diplomatic corps and development partners, buyers already involved in the kava export market and smallholder suppliers.